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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
fallenskies Offline
Welcome me, I'm new!
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Name: Olivia
Gender: Female
Location: Australia

Posts: 24
Join Date: January 22nd 2017

I'll never do good - June 14th 2017, 09:56 AM

My grades have been slipping. from 90s to 80s,
to even 30s. I just can't seem to make sense of what the teacher's saying.
Well I can, but during a test I just blank out. And when I think I know something, I'm always so wrong. When I think I've finally got the hang of it,
I realize I've been doing it all wrong. I can't go on like this. I want to pass,
but how? Tutoring doesn't help, because all they do is teach the same thing that I don't get, and issue more homework. Another issue I have: studying.
When I'm studying for a test, how the hell do I study and revise? Do I just read my notes? Rewrite them? What do I do? I feel stupid if I ask my teachers for help, and when I do, they still don't make sense. I'm just really sick of failing and getting low marks, and my family being constantly disappointed in me. Sometimes I just wanna cry. I wish that granted wishes were a thing.
I'd wish to be smarter, more organised, to pass every test. I just don't get how people understand this stuff.

Heyo. PM or VM me if you need someone to listen. I'm also constantly in need of hugs so if you wanna give me some that'd be great too
  (#2 (permalink)) Old
Everglow. Offline
Did you miss me?
Jeez, get a life!
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Name: Hollie
Age: 25
Gender: Female
Location: London

Posts: 5,002
Blog Entries: 747
Join Date: January 19th 2011

Re: I'll never do good - June 14th 2017, 11:06 PM

Hi Olivia,

I want to start by saying - a bad grade does not mean you're not clever. I know plenty of incredibly talented, smart people who just don't cope well with tests. They're hard! It's a lot of pressure and it's time limited, and you don't know what'd going to come up. Some people are naturally good at exams while others thrive more under coursework conditions or practical conditions. It's ok to not understand sometimes. Don't punish yourself for it. Honestly.

Revision is a really difficult skill to master and I found out how I revise far too late and as a result, really struggled, so you're not the only one who will be finding that difficult. There isn't a correct way to revise so I can't tell you exactly how to do it, but the best thing you can do is vary your methods to see what works best. Tutoring is useful if you learn through listening and writing notes but we don't all learn that way - I know I don't.

Are you typically more creative or logical?

If you're more creative, you could try using colours or pictures to help yourself learn. Maybe make a presentation, either by hand using posters and drawings, or on the computer where you have powerpoint or something and can use images and animations. If there's a friend you can invite round, you could present these to them and teach them about your topic. I found that by teaching someone, I actually taught myself too because you're explaining something complicated in a way you understand. That way, you become the teacher instead of the student, and it's a lot more interactive that way! You could also set up quizzes. Make yourself some flash cards and then hand them to a friend or family member and ask them to go through and randomly quiz you on things. I often got them very very wrong, but none the less it helped me to be able to answer things on the spot when I wasn't expecting the questions and gradually, you learn the topic more.

Alternatively, if you're more of a logical person and you prefer reading and writing, you could try rewriting notes, or answering practice papers and asking a teacher to mark them and provide you with feedback. You can learn your weak areas that way and you will know where to revise the most. You can also try recording yourself and listening to it back while you're travelling or sleeping. Apparently when you're not actively trying to learn, it goes in more, so listening when you're falling asleep may be useful. A teacher of mine told me that she used to keep a text book open next to her when doing every day tasks too, such as cooking dinner, and every now and then she'd just glance at the page and gradually she started to remmeber what she was reading without trying to force it in. You could do this with your own notes too. Put up key facts in places you are a lot of the time. I used to put posters up on the wall where my laptop was as I spend a lot of time there. You could also put them in cupbaords in the kitchen or on the wall facing the toilet (because let's face it, it's the one place we all know we'll be a few times a day!). That way, you can top up your learning without stressing yourself out too much when you're taking breaks.

Importantly, DO take breaks! They're just as important as the actual revision itself. If you've been at it for a while and it feels like nothing is going in, it probably isn't. Take 20-30 minutes. Get some air, make a cup of tea, watch an episode of a show you like, and then, when you feel refreshed, give it another go. Breaks stop you from overworking yourself and keep you healthier too. Stress never helps in exams. You'll already be stressed enough so don't add to it if you can help it!

It takes some people longer than others to understand some things. That's ok. Honestly, I know it can feel like a race when everyone else seems to get things you don't, but teachers get it. One teacher I had who was a star, told me that she gets no joy out of seeing students fail. Schools are marked and rated on passes, and the more they achieve, the better they look, which means most teachers genuinely want to help you achieve the best you can. If you're struggling, tell a teacher that the ways you've been learning so far don't seem to help and ask them if they have any other suggestions. You won't be the first or last student to find that certain teaching techniques just aren't doing the trick.

Most importantly, never give up or beat yourself up about things like this. Grades are important, but they aren't THE most important thing. Work hard, but if you've done your best, then that's enough! Work on your weak areas, and let each test be a lesson, an opportunity to do better, not a barrier or a wall stopping you from achieving what you know you're capable of. These things don't exist to make you fail. They're a chance for you to achieve, and even though they're hard, keep at it. You're clever. Everyone's clever in one way or another. Experiment with what works for you.

Feel free to let me know if you need any more advice. I know it's tough at school but if I can help any more I'm more than happy to.

Take care!

A paradox:
The things you donít need to liveó
books, art, cinema, wine, and so onó
are the things you need to live

- Matt Haig

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